Message from Dean Pratt, December 2019

Greetings Washburn Law Alumni!

It is a pleasure to write to you during this holiday season of joy and gratitude because we have a lot to be thankful for this year.

In case you missed the news, the Washburn University board of regents approved a new $33 million budget for our building project and authorized architects to proceed with a redesign of a new law school building. Accordingly, we are working with the architects to redesign the building to meet the needs of our ground-breaking program of legal education. I am excited to have the faculty, staff, and students give input to the architects to help them redesign a law school building that meets our needs and reflects the cutting-edge work being done by our faculty inside the building.

The University commitment to our project remains at $20 million, and we have raised over $10 million so far, putting us only $3 million away from our fundraising goal. This is the largest amount raised for a single project in the history of Washburn University, so I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign. If you have not yet contributed to this campaign and would like more information before deciding whether to do so, please email me. I would be delighted to meet with you to tell you more about our vision for legal education and the new building. If you would like to make a donation to the building campaign, or increase your donation, please visit our new building website or mail your pledge form to the law school.

I want to take a moment to thank all our adjunct faculty members for doing an outstanding job helping us educate students. I especially want to thank our adjunct faculty members who declined the standard compensation so that we could use those funds to help us create online courses to support our Third Year Anywhere enrollment option.

In addition to our adjunct faculty, we have alumni who are volunteering to serve as mentors to our students. Mentorship helps our students with professional development and networking which are important skills to be successful in the legal profession, and I am very grateful for the many hours that our alumni donate to student mentorship.

I am also thankful for our faculty and staff and the plethora of ways they give back to the community. We have a new Clinic newsletter that is being launched so please look for it to see all the impactful work our Clinic is doing in the community.

I want to take this time to spotlight Professor Emily Grant's giving spirit. On top of being a devoted mom, foster mom, and law professor, Professor Grant is making time to share her expertise with women in the Topeka community who are often overlooked. In partnership with faculty members from the Washburn sociology department, next semester, Professor Grant will bring the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to Washburn. This is a nationally-known classroom model that will bring together Washburn undergraduate students and women incarcerated at the Topeka Correctional Facility to learn about criminal justice. The Inside-Out curriculum helps to break down societal barriers and changes the way people think about and interact with the various components of the criminal justice system. Professor Grant is taking on this teaching project in addition to her regular teaching duties at the law school, and we are very proud to have her contributing to the community in this way. The professors leading the program are currently raising money to pay the inmates' tuition for the class so they can earn the same college credit as Washburn students. If you want to support this effort, you may do so by visiting:

Finally, I am thankful for the service of the three faculty members who will retire at the end of this academic year. Jim Concannon, Bill Rich, and David Pierce have contributed over a century of combined service to Washburn University School of Law, and we will celebrate them at a retirement celebration on campus on June 6, 2020. So please save the date and plan to join us!

Best wishes for a happy holiday season,

Carla D. Pratt
Dean and Professor of Law
Washburn University School of Law

Photograph: Dean Carla D. Pratt.

Carla D. Pratt

Dean Pratt talks about the impact education has had on her life and how law has a role in shaping higher education (3:43 minutes).
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Dean Pratt talks to "TopLawSchools" about Washburn Law's student life, academics, admissions process, career opportunties, employment outcomes, and more.